Forget about reading those labels with infinitely unpronounceable words. If you're counting calories, here are some ideas on how to stick with your weight-loss plan, sans the headache of "watching" what you eat:
1) Always use a napkin. Particularly if you like pizza and other greasy foods. By using your napkin, you can blot a teaspoon of fat off a pizza slice; multiply that by a slice a week, and that's over a cup of fat you're saving your waistline in one year.
2) Tighten the belt, literally. Not so you're in pain, but just so you can remind yourself of what size you really want to be, particularly during those moments when the vending machine seems to have your name written all over it.
3) Tell your friends and family you're on a diet. When there's someone else around to embarrass you into remembering your commitment, it's that much more real.
4) When eating out, use your knife to scrape off extra cream cheese and mayo;that could save you as many as half the calories you're going to consume.
5) Always eat dessert. Even the teeniest bit can be enough to cancel out cravings and let you know that the meal is really over - so no more second helpings!
These tips reminded me of the things dancers I knew would do. They would always, always blot their food, ridding it of grease and extra calories from dressings like mayo. Then I got to the part where it was suggested to always eat dessert. I think that's a sound suggestion - some sort of a Pavlovian method of letting yourself know the meal is over. But how about this instead - order a tea with a lemon slice. If you aren't a person that always drinks tea, adding that as your way to end the meal will save you the calories but grant you the antioxidants. Just a thought. Although the dessert option certainly sounds more fun!
Eating a very small dessert is a great idea. We are creatures of habit and if we learn to associate a small dessert with the end of a meal it really could help stop with the "picking." In that same vein, I think it is really important to not eat in front of the TV. I heard this a long time ago at a Weight Watchers meeting and I have personally found it to be really helpful. If we get in the habit of eating, even on good foods, every time we are watching TV then our brain begins to connect the two activities. THere is no reason to be grazing through a two-hour movie. What happens is that you get distracted with the show and forget just how much you are actually putting in your mouth!